Calvin Johnson has a compelling few years ahead of him. The former Detroit Lions wideout will be on the short list for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame come 2021, but will he make it there?
A prediction as it related to that has come from Clark Judge of the Talk of Fame Network. The Hall of Fame voter took a look at discussing the future as it related to some of the next members up in terms of enshrinement. As he said, Johnson has a complicated case.
According to Judge, Johnson could be asked to wait when all is said and done and not be a first ballot member in Canton. The reason as he sees it? All history at his position. Here’s a look at what Judge wrote:
“Yet there’s something more than success or longevity that may make him wait a year or two, and that something is history. I’m not talking about voters’ reluctance to tap three first-ballot choices again (frankly, I don’t think most care) but about a reluctance to make a wide receiver a first-ballot selection.
It’s happened six times since 1970 and only twice in the past 25 years when Jerry Rice (2010) and Randy Moss (2018) were elected.
That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen with Calvin Johnson, too. He certainly has the resume. But my guess is that he waits in 2021. And if that occurs, the queue of qualified finalists waiting on the steps of Canton has a chance to move forward.”
Theoretically, anything is on the table as it relates to Johnson coming up. His history as a member of the Lions might hang over his candidacy, but it’s tough to imagine Johnson not getting in relatively quickly considering how he re-defined the position when he entered the NFL.
As of now, the only thing left is to wait until 2021 to see what plays out with Johnson’s case.
Calvin Johnson’s Hall of Fame Case Examined
Johnson is eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2021, and it’s interesting to see some of the hype he is getting as it relates to making it to Canton next year. Recently, John Breech of CBS Sports debated some of the candidates for Johnson’s class, and explained their chances.
When it came to Johnson, Breech explained the potential ups and downs of Johnson trying to get the call next year. Here’s a look at his conclusion:
“You can definitely make a strong argument that Calvin Johnson belongs in the Hall of Fame, but Megatron might have a tough time getting in during his first-year of eligibility, and that’s mainly because his career was so short. Johnson decided to retire after just nine seasons, and that was mainly due to two reasons: His body was beat up and he was fed up with the Lions. As a matter of fact, Johnson actually did a recent interview where he took another shot at his former team.
“First thing, I’m like, ‘Whoa, this is how you should take care of your players,'” Johnson told the Behind the Mask podcast. “I go to Miami — it ain’t like Miami’s winning, but they’re taking care of their players … I go to Oakland, I’m like, ‘Damn, we don’t have none of this in Detroit.'”
Despite his sour relationship with the Lions, he did thrive during his time with the team. During his nine-year career, Johnson led was named an All-Pro three times and he led the NFL in receiving yards twice. Megatron also led the NFL in receptions in 2012 when he caught 122 passes. The impressive thing is that he did all of this even though he was usually the focal point of every opponent’s defense. During that 2012 season, Johnson finished with 1,964 receiving yards, which is still the NFL’s single-season record. As a matter of fact, no player in the NFL has even finished a season with 1,900 yards.
The biggest knock on Johnson is that he never really played on any good Lions teams. During his time in Detroit, the Lions went just 54-90 and he went 0-2 in the playoffs. Of course, no one will be blaming those losses on Johnson, especially his first one. Back in January 2012, Johnson caught 12 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-28 loss to the Saints.”
Johnson would seem to be a lock to make it to the Hall of Fame given what he did in the NFL for years and also given the way he changed the game at wide receiver.
Calvin Johnson Lions Statistics
Since he came into the league with the Lions in 2007, Johnson wasted little time putting up great plays and amazing statistics. In his career, Johnson put up 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns and more than that, was a human highlight reel unlike any other receiver on the list. Out of Georgia Tech, Johnson was labeled as one of the freakiest players in the draft and he lived up to that distinction in the NFL.
Johnson shattered Rice’s record of 1,848 receiving yards during the 2012 season and was a stable force for the team, often playing through pain and discomfort on the field. He walked away following the 2015 season, leaving a gaping hole in Detroit’s wideout group. Since, Johnson has been embroiled in a feud with the Lions for the last few seasons over money that the team made him pay back upon retirement.
It doesn’t seem like any of this will prevent Johnson from getting his call to the hall when the time comes, even if that time is eventually deferred as Judge predicts.